top of page
Information overload has become a bit of an issue for me over the last few weeks.. whether that’s from the news on the TV, social media or family discussions about the COVID-19 crisis.. A few days ago, I had really had enough of well-meaning people on social media telling me to be positive, or giving me suggestions of what to do with my time or pleas not to colour my hair and I lost it… I was completely and utterly fed up with people telling me how to feel, what to do or not do and I’d had enough.. Yes, I had a toddler tantrum and it wasn’t pretty… but I needed to do it.. I needed to feel those feelings and let them out, since if I didn’t and kept then bottled up inside, over time it would impact hugely on my own mental wellbeing…. And whilst I may not be proud to admit to a toddler tantrum at the age of 44, I know that it is OK to feel those feelings, let them out, face them and then move through them to get to the other side… I also know that its OK to have a break from the outside world when it all gets too much and you feel overwhelmed…. So that’s what I have been doing – I limit the amount of time I spend on social media, I only watch the news when I feel up to it and I keep in contact with people when I want to… During times of overwhelm and overload, I have found journaling my thoughts and feelings to be a complete saviour. It allows me to vent and offload whatever is in my head and heart… and in the process of journaling, I have found that I invariably calm down and figure out solutions to my own problems or concerns. I don’t do it every day; usually when I feel like it, which works for me as its less personal pressure – my inner critic would be having field day if I committed to writing every day and didn’t do it!! It would be yet another thing I have failed at!!
So exactly what am I trying to say?
The key word for me at the moment is compassion… for others, yes, but mainly for YOURSELF!! Compassion is practising kindness, being understanding, patient, encouraging and showing empathy. It is feeling a common humanity with others (we are all in this together!) and being wholly present in the moment (mindfulness). When we are critical and unkind towards ourselves, it can trigger our fight/flight response (stress response) as we become threatened by our own imperfections as human beings. We are all perfectly imperfect yet it feels like we are all striving for impossible perfection!! When we feel threatened, our minds and bodies shut down to protect ourselves so we may feel overwhelmed or panicked or stressed (or all three!).. As a human beings, we function best in the mammalian care giving system; we are programmed to respond to warmth, gentle touch and soothing talk. These compassionate behaviours and actions make us feel safe, encouraging the release of oxytocin and endorphins – the happy hormones. So being kind and compassionate to ourselves is the ONE THING we can do to help us LIVE, not just survive, these challenging times…
And no its not self-indulgent or selfish to do this… The more we are self-compassionate to ourselves, the more we have to give to others….
So put YOUrself FIRST for a few minutes every day… Set some boundaries over your space and time;; allow yourself to feel your feelings if you are having a bad day and work through them – just don’t stay there (!!); find a mindfulness activity that resonates with you to help you be present in the moment, switch off from the outside world and just be; and remember..
You are doing the best you can in tricky circumstances, you ARE enough and you are definitely not alone!!
Love & light
bottom of page